I’m writing tonight because I today attended the funeral of the women of picture you see above, her name is Mrs. Neita. You don’t know who she is, she is a women who I think of as a surrogate grandma of sorts. This part of my life is hard to explain, it’s not known by many, even those that knew at this time of my life. The short of it all is she was the mother of my then acting teacher and I knew this women for most of my life… In my 20’s, my brothers and I, ended up, due to a series of unlikely events, becoming care takers for this woman. When I say care takers, I mean we watched over her, 24 hours a day for nearly 2 years. Now, me and my brothers are all actors, not qualified to be care takers, but for those who you consider family, when asked, you may be surprised at the things you are capable of doing. It wasn’t the easiest things to do, as a matter a fact, it was some of the darkest times in my life. Coupled with doing one of the hardest jobs I can think of, (that we weren’t qualified to do), we also were in a dark time with our family, in that we weren’t speaking to our parents. You can imagine how hard that can be for most families, especially ours being such a close knit one. Ironically, in taking care of this woman, Mrs. Neita, I felt that this is something my mother would do in a heart beat, I mean, my mother, you see, is one of the most saintly women in the world. Anyone who knows my mom would tell you the same. So even in a time of disconnection with my mother, I somehow felt connected with her in helping out Mrs. Nieta.
Now, Mrs. Neita, well, this woman… Yeah, the mold was broken with her. Although some days it felt as if it was a burden to feed her, bath her, sleep over and just be there to help as she was going through health and mental issues that many folks go through in elder age… it’s funny, in thinking about those crazy days, I also remember laughter… many times of laughter and conversations that we’re enlightening and sometimes just downright hysterical. Maybe I’ll write about it all in a script one day.
Once, my brother Dion and I, had to fly out to Nebraska because she disappeared and when we found her, she was in Nebraska! Yes, somehow, she got on a plane and then a train and every one was scared as to where she could be… well, she was in Nebraska. We flew out, rounded her up and had an adventure of a lifetime driving her back to Los Angeles. I’m telling you, this woman, one of a kind… I’m smiling writing this now. She lived to be 96, I just wanted to write a little about her, life is an adventure, you never know who you’ll meet along the way… Farewell, Mrs. Neita! love you, darlin.